What would the end of the year and the start of a new one be without the seemingly never-ending lists of the top stories from the previous year. There was a lot of jockeying for position among the major players last year. Jolie O’Dell provides a list of the top ten rivalries in “Social Media Fight Club! Top Tiffs from 2012.” While the focus here is not overtly legal in most cases, the article does help to paint a picture of how the social media landscape is looking going into 2013.
Last week, Michigan joined the growing number of states to enforce a social media privacy law. Like similar legislation in California and Maryland, it will now be a lot harder for employers and educators to gain access to employees’ or students’ social media accounts. Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation, which prohibits educators or employers from asking for usernames or passwords, into law on Friday. Sarah Wolfe’s article “Michigan Social Media Privacy Law Signed By Governor” has more details.
The Attorney General of New York recently released guideline for cause marketing focused on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook. The list of best practices is aimed at helping both consumers and charities. In a nutshell, the promotion should be clearly described, consumers should be able to easily determine how much they are donating, if something is not apparent, it should be transparent, special efforts for transparency should be made on social media, and the public should be told how much was raised. The full set of best practices can be found here.
California District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled Monday that Facebook might owe you as much as $10. The ruling is the latest development in the class action suit against Facebook over Sponsored Stories. The case also marks continuing efforts to limit Facebook’s access to users’ personal information. Jessica Dye’s article “Judge Gives Initial OK to Revised Facebook Privacy Settlement” appeared on Reuters.
The FBI is keeping a close watch on Twitter and Facebook, looking for instances of security fraud. The increased interest is all part of an on-going crack down on insider trading in the hedge fund industry. For more information read the article, “FBI Sees Facebook, Twitter as Breeding Ground for Security Fraud”, from Reuters.
The National Labor Relations Board has ordered Dish Network to change its social media policy to allow employees to make disparaging or defamatory comments about their employer should they choose to. The Administrative court was particularly interested in criticizing a social media policy that could lead to union or collective activity being restrained. Eriq Gardner looks at the dispute in “Dish Network Ordered to Change Social Media Policy” in The Hollywood Reporter. Administrative Law Judge Robert Ringler’s decision can be found here.
The second annual global study on how businesses are incorporating social media has been published by Proskauer. The study provides a look at differing standards globally as well as offering some recommendations on best practices. “Social Media in the Workplace Around the World 2.0” is well worth the read, especially if you are still grappling with the issue at your own place of work. “Proskauer Study Recommends Corporate Best Practices for Navigating Challenges of Social Media in the Workplace” provides a summary and link to the study.
It seems it’s already time for the 2012 end of year lists to start appearing. Here is one from Alex Fitzpatrick on the “7 Landmark Tech Laws Passed in 2012.” It will be interesting to see how some of these spread to other states and countries in the coming months.
Social media continues to have its role and presence in the court defined. Up until recently, social media has played more of a role in civil cases, but it is now finding its way into how criminal cases play out too. One such case is the Trayvon Martin murder case in Florida. Lizette Alvarez looks at how Mark O’Mara, the defense lawyer for George Zimmerman, is using social media in “Social Media, Growing in Legal Circles, Finds a Role in Florida Murder Case.”
Social media platforms are growing in popularity in the Middle East. There have already been questions of censorship versus freedom of speech. Digital media engagement is strongest among younger demographics but is gaining steadily. As content is increasingly available on digital platforms, it is likely that other legal issues will arise. Yousef Gamal El-Din provides more information on the changing landscape in “Social Media Giants Leap Into Arab World.”